Off to the beach…. Marsden style

Don’t worry, we have not annoyed the residents of any seaside county by actually going to the beach, we are all still being very sensible here and I am still not leaving the village. Today marks 11 weeks since I left Marsden, on our little pre-lockdown trip to the fabric shop. Little did we know then that we were going to be in our homes for so long!

Ellen came up on Tuesday rather than at the weekend as the weather forecast was not good and we went for a very long, and quite hot, walk, right over to the other side of the village and onto the moors. I thought I would share some of the photos with you as it was a very beautiful day.

Marsden Beach walk 1

We started off in the middle of the village near the church where there is a lovely pack horse bridge and a weir. This cottage had the most enormous poppies in the garden that you can just see in the above picture.

Marsden Beach walk 6

This river comes out from one of the other mill sites, the only one to have been demolished and there are now houses there, some right next to the weir.

A walk though the woods next to the canal led to this example of a sheep fold, which was built as a demonstration of dry walling. There are a couple of sheep sculptures inside and it shows how they would contain the sheep while they sheared them, getting them in through the high gap and blocking off the little exit until each sheep had been done.

Marsden Beach walk 9

Marsden Beach walk 10

There are still lots of gorgeous rhododendrons in bloom and we also came across another example of the lovely tree that we found on our last walk. Ellen now has a plant finder app on her phone so we were able to establish that it is a hawthorn and the little rose buds had now fully bloomed and were looking beautiful.

Marsden Beach walk 7

Marsden Beach walk 8

Marsden Beach walk 12

The cottages above are at the end of the canal near the canal heritage centre and they were probably built for the workers that used to mend the boats when the centre was operational.

We were headed for a little bit of the river known locally as Marsden beach where we had a picnic and a paddle. There were quite a few families there and it was lovely to see the children playing in the water.

Marsden Beach walk 13

Marsden Beach walk 14

The ‘beach’ part of the walk has some lovely areas leading from it up into the moors so we followed the path along the river, passing another bridge until we came to part of the moor known as Eastergate.

Marsden Beach walk 17

Marsden Beach walk 18

This is National Trust land, as is all of the land around here that is not part of the Peak District National Park and as at other points there is a sculpture linking the landscape with the industrial heritage.

Marsden Beach walk 21

Marsden Beach walk 22

Marsden Beach walk 23

Marsden Beach walk 24

This was part of the trail where the wool would be brought over the moors and is now a brilliant area for picnics and paddling on a hot day. We were lucky enough to find ice cream on sale in the village when we got back as some of the cafes are doing take away so finished our walk with an ice cream by the river.

A really lovely, lovely day, doing such normal but very special things now and finished off by the delivery of my new table and chairs which had arrived while we were out. My lovely neighbours had taken them in and so I finished the day replanting my hanging baskets and sitting outside with a glass of wine in the evening sun.

New chairs 1

The sheep have very kindly not eaten any of my plants, unlike my poor neighbours who have spent a lot of lockdown planting what the sheep have been treating as a salad bar. Luckily they don’t seem to like geraniums 🙂

New chairs 2

Of course being Yorkshire we are now having a cold spell to celebrate the start of June but hopefully things will brighten up next week as we are planning our first Wool and Wine live meet up. There will be six of us, in the same space, with wine and nibbles, how exciting is that!

I have done very little on the crafting front as I have been working on my jigsaw on the nice sunny evenings, it is lovely to sit with the back door open and listen to the birds. I have just started a new embroidery from my vintage stitching book and will hopefully have some time this weekend to get back to the Liberty quilt blocks as I have sadly neglected them in the last few weeks. Never mind there will be plenty of time after the doctorate is finished.

I hope that you have all been having a good week and that you have a good weekend ahead. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Some more little treats

I have been continuing to support small businesses with some purchases and was very touched when my recent order from Duck Egg Threads came with this very sweet note in the packaging.

Duck eggs Liberty 1

The fabric is so lovely, how could I resist ordering more so will definitely get some again next month. I have been putting my travel to work budget to good use for this purpose and there is so much I would like to get from them. They are the lovely site that I mentioned a while ago with very clear displays of all of the colours they stock.

Duck eggs Liberty 2

I ordered 8 fat 16ths as that gives me a lot of longer strips for when I do more quilt blocks that need these longer lengths. Most of these designs I have already had but am now down to little scraps of. That is the lovely thing about quilting though, there is always something to use up the tiny bits for.

Duck eggs Liberty 3

I have been sorting out some papers to use for the Liberty hexagon quilt and have found these that I have already made so think that I will use the half inch hexagons for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden designs.

Liberty half inch hexis

That does mean that for a bed sized quilt I would need a grand total of 18,720 hexagons according to the calculations on this blog here. That is a major project so I may just make something smaller for the moment, like a cushion for the future camper van!

I have also treated myself to a new stitching book. I love buying vintage linens and have another one on the way from Ebay and this book, Vintage Stitching Treasury has been on my wish list for a while.

Vintage Stitching 1

There are so many cute versions of the Crinoline Lady patterns in here.

Vintage Stitching 6

Vintage Stitching 5

There are also some very familiar flowers that are very similar  to the jacket I made from tablecloths a couple of years ago.

Vintage Stitching 2

Steampunk linen jacket finished 2

Vintage Stitching 4

I love the cute animals as well. There are 400 patterns in here so it is very good value.

Vintage Stitching 3

I think some of these would look fabulous on cushions as well as making into embroidered hoop pictures. My new supply of hoops arrived as well so I can put together another camper van picture.

Last but not least I was also tempted by some more camper van fabric, and gave in!

Camper van fabric May

These are such gorgeous colours and I have half a metre of it so am going to put it away for a bit until I decide what to do with it. Possibly cushion covers with some applique van fronts.This was also from Amazon, from a company called Discover Fabrics

I have had a brilliant weekend.Kerry came up on Saturday and we went for a very long and hot walk to the same reservoir we went to last week, this time we did have a little paddle in the stream though. It was wonderful to be able to talk to her in person and we will have another meet up very soon.

Sunday was a nice quiet day of sewing. It has been so lovely this week to see real live people as we have been able to meet up with friends for exercise now so I have seen lots of people from Wool and Wine. From next week we will be able to meet in small groups outside so that will be exciting. I am so looking forward to getting some kind of normality into my life again and having things to look forward to.

I hope that you have all had a good weekend and have a good week ahead. I shall be mainly working on the doctorate but hopefully this gorgeous weather will continue and I can have some lovely evening walks as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sunday stitching

I had a busy day last Sunday but did not manage to get the Bearpaw block made. I did get as far as sorting out the fabrics for it though but it will be a while in the making.

Meanwhile, I will show you the troublesome blocks from the previous weekend. I am very pleased with how they turned out but still slightly baffled why I have so many difficulties with the points. There is such a variety in whether they meet, overlap or are too far apart.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 3

Campervan Sawtooth Star 4

Anyway I shall hopefully enjoy using them at some point in the future in my camper van. I am very pleased with the fact that I managed to get matching fabric from my stash for the triangle parts of the design. I decided pink would be better for the other colour as white was too harsh with the cream background of the camper van print.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 1

Campervan Sawtooth Star 2

The spotty fabric is from the scrap bin when Simply Solids was open and the turquoise is some of the wonderful ombre collection by V and Co. I love this fabric and have nearly run out so may have to treat myself to more.

I have started some new Jenny of Elefantz stitching for viewing crafting. This is one of her many circular designs from her previous monthly design club and I am planning to put a cute Liberty hexagon in the middle as I have done with other designs.

May embroidery circle WIP

I am using the variegated Mill House Designs thread that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love using variegated thread and it works really well for these designs as I only need one strand.

May embroidery circle WIP 3

May embroidery circle WIP 2

I am currently really enjoying the latest series of Outlander and a new series called Sweet Magnolias so had a lovely time watching those while I finished this design. This week marked the last week of marking, yippee 🙂 139 pieces of work done and dusted so that makes me very happy.

There are then a couple of weeks work on finishing the doctorate and then I can take some leave. Aside from some DIY, both here and at Ellen’s if I can, I need to think about some scheduling of projects.

It seems very strange not to be making things for events or for Yarndale this summer but I would rather wait to make the Steampunk things until a little nearer the time of the actual events and we don’t really know when that will be.

I will probably devote a lot more time to quilt blocks and maybe start a new Liberty project as I have lots of scraps so I am thinking about a hexagon quilt that I can hand piece. I love the Grandmother’s Garden pattern and have seen some wonderful examples of those.

Look at this gorgeous one used as a tablecloth from Home is Where the Boat is, picture from the blog. I love the quilt and the setting is wonderful with the water in the background. Such beautiful flowers as well.

Granny Flowers tablecloth

This layout is from Alice Caroline’s web site, another one of my favourite Liberty suppliers and she actually sells pre-cut hexagon kits if you want to save time.I love that purple print in the lower right hand side, I have the green and pink versions of this one.

Granny-Flowers-hexagons

Anyway it will be fun scheduling things. I am glad to have been working during the past few months as it has made the time go very quickly but it will be lovely to have some very lazy days in the craft room.

I hope you all have a good weekend ahead. I am very much looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend Kerry tomorrow, she will be visiting me for a nice long walk up to the reservoirs. It has been beautiful weather this week while I have been inside working so hopefully it will continue this weekend as well

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

The flower fairy in the wild

I had a very special day yesterday when I saw my lovely daughter for the first time since Feb. Now that we are allowed to travel for exercise she came up for the day and we went on a very long walk to the end of the second reservoir near me. Of course she did not wear the flower fairy dress but something a bit more suited to walking but it would have looked fabulous against all the lovely flowers.

Walk with Ellen 1

We even had a picnic beside the stream. It turned out to be very good weather, despite a very windy start and we sat for a long time in the sun, chatting about all the things that have happened in the past few months.

Walk with Ellen 8

Walk with Ellen 3

Walk with Ellen 9

Walk with Ellen 7

Walk with Ellen 6

Of course we have been keeping in touch by phone and video chat but nothing compares to seeing people live, with legs and everything, rather than just heads 🙂 She is keeping busy with lots more sewing projects planned while she is still on furlough and some DIY to do on her house. Hopefully I may be able to go and help her with when restrictions are lifted further.

The rhododendrons were starting to bloom all up the valley, this is one of my favourite walks but have not been for a while to this spot.

Walk with Ellen 5

Walk with Ellen 4

Walk with Ellen 2

Walk with Ellen 14

I love the old stone work around the reservoirs. There are long steps either side of the largest one and lots of little ones leading off to other places around the area.

Walk with Ellen 10

Walk with Ellen 13

We had fun trying to work out the names of other plants as well. Ellen has been learning a lot from the garden staff at Clumber but neither of us knew what this was so Ellen has christened it tree rose, pink variety. It may be hawthorn but it has the most gorgeous tiny rose like flowers.

Walk with Ellen 11

Walk with Ellen 12

Today is very cold and windy and wet so after the weekly trip for fresh bread I have been staying in sorting photos and am planning to do some embroidery later on.

I need to work on the next block in the challenge tomorrow. I have not yet had time to do another Sawtooth Star in Liberty so that one will have to wait a while. This week’s block is a Bearpaw one and looking at the instructions it may be very tricky to make a 6 inch one with four ‘paws’ as the pieces would be very tiny so it may be a good idea to make a much bigger block.

I was searching for inspiration and found this beautiful scappy Bearpaw quilt from Wendy’s Quilts. Picture from her blog. This is absolutely gorgeous, I love all of the bright colours. There are more detailed pictures of each block on her blog as well.

Scrappy bear paw quilt

I am thinking that a scrappy Liberty block in a larger size may be a good idea. I can then maybe use it as the centre of my quilt or keep it for something else. Although I am getting better at the fiddly bits of these blocks, after last week’s struggles I think I want to go for an easier option than trying to make each paw only 2 1/2 inches finished size. After all this is meant to be a relaxing hobby 😉

I hope that you have a nice rest of this Bank Holiday weekend if you are in the UK. The weather forecast for Monday is supposed to be very good. As I had my day off yesterday instead I will be working on my doctorate all day but hopefully can go for an early evening wander to the water.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Flower fairies, flying geese and a bit of faith

As promised in a previous post I have some of my daughter’s wonderful creativity to share with you today. She bought a wedding dress from a charity shop a while ago, meaning to turn it into a flower fairy outfit. As she has had a little more time on her hands at the moment due to being on furlough she has created this amazing piece of gorgeousness.

Flower fairy 1

The dress started life as something very similar to my friend’s dress that I added the lace to a while ago. She has added lots and lots of artificial flowers, lace applique and beading to transform it.She is so clever and so dedicated as it took forever to stitch.

I think it looks amazing and can’t wait to see it in real life. I think we need to do a photo shoot in the woods somewhere, she has discovered some very lovely ones near her house so that will be a project for the future.

The dress is to be worn with a flower crown and these gorgeous flower fairy shoes made from artificial leaves that her friend Charlotte has created for her.

Flower fairy 10

Flower fairy 11

Flower fairy 12

Flower fairy 13

I would have had some lovely Sawtooth Star blocks to share with you today but unfortunately they have proved very tricky, or rather the flying geese part has. I do remember having similar problems last time I tried this as well. I am persevering but so far have seam ripped the centre part of the block twice so am going to try again this afternoon.

As with everything you have to have a little faith, in yourself when tackling new things and generally, especially during difficult times.

Have faith pillow

I made this pillow for Ellen at Christmas to remind her to always have faith in herself and that any challenges can be overcome. I was going to post about it a while ago but lost the pictures so thanks to Ellen for this one. This is one of Jenny of Elfantz designs again.

I have also just finished the heart embroidery, again by Jenny. The picture below was the last work in progress shot.

Heart embroidery

I am pleased with this now as I think the flowers detract somewhat from the wobbly lines! I am not sure how I am going to use this, probably a pouch or a bag, I think it would look good with ric rac edging.

Heart embroidery 2

Heart embroidery 3

I need to order some more embroidery hoops before I can begin a new camper applique embroidery so I am going to do a smaller circle and hexagon with my new Millhouse threads while I wait for those to arrive.

Now it is back to trying to sort of those geese, wish me luck! Have a good week ahead, take care, keep safe and thanks for visiting.

An obsession with campers

I have always had an obsession with tents, at one stage I owned 7 of them, I have got rid of a couple and now only have a modest 5 ( all different sizes and one medieval one so I think that is justifiable). Since I started seriously planning for retirement, and my bones started getting so painful I have now switched my obsession to campers.

I think at the moment it is definitely a wish to get outdoors but also because I just love the cuteness of the retro campers and caravans and the sheer ingenuity of all those people who convert vans of all shapes and sizes into homes. I will always love camping but going away with my sister last year just made me really appreciate the joys of a camper van.

I love watching the videos on You Tube of the van tours and keep checking on Gumtree for the sort of camper that I want to buy eventually. There was the cutest one in my price range in a nearby town today. Such a pity that I can’t drive or I would have been so tempted just so I could have it and decorate it while I wait to be able to go away somewhere!

Once I have finished the current embroidery I am going to make another of the camper embroideries that I have just finished. I checked on Diary of a Quilter’s blog this evening to read the instructions for this week’s Riley Blake Block Challenge which is the Sawtooth  Star Block. I have made these before but was looking at her examples and came across these cute little coasters that she had made. Picture from Amy’s web site.

Camper sawtooth-square-coaster

I thought I recognised the fabric and checked my previous blog posts and yes it is the Riley Blake ‘I’d rather be glamping’ fabric that I bought last year.So that is my plan for the weekend sorted, two Liberty Sawtooth Star blocks and a couple of these little cuties as well.

Campervan fabric

I am currently working on one of my Ebay puzzle purchases most evenings which is also fueling my camper love.It looks very much like a camp site Ellen and I stayed in a couple of years ago in the Lake District when we had a wonderful holiday.

Camping puzzle 3

I bought this as I loved the illustration and had to laugh when it arrived and I saw on the side of the box that it said, ‘before there were holidays to Spain, there was camping and everyone loves camping’.

Camping puzzle 2

Camping puzzle 1

Well I do love camping but I would also like to go to Spain to see my lovely Mum but will just have to be patient about that.

Meanwhile I will spend my time adding pictures to my newly created Pinterest board of cute retro camper designs. Look at these cute interiors! My van will definitely have bunting, lots and lots of bunting.

Cozy Little House camper

Retro cottage camper

I also found these very lovely cushions on this blog, this group of friends have all got vintage caravans and I love these embroidered cushions. They look wonderful with the grandmother’s garden quilt as well.Picture from the blog, stitched by Juli.

Retro camper van pillows

I can but dream, and make pretty things of course so that I when I do finally buy the camper then I will have lots to put in it 🙂

I hope that you have some nice things planned for the weekend. My excitement starts with collecting my freshly baked bread tomorrow morning (yes I am going out of the house again!) and also a little walk on Sunday, weather permitting.

Take care, keep safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Week 9 – I am halfway to a lap quilt…..

Although this is only week 7 of the Riley Blake Block challenge I am on week 9 of working from home and have now, with the addition of the three blocks that I made last year as practise for doing quilt blocks,  got quite a nice little collection.

Those from last year are the very top right and the second and fourth from left on the bottom row. They were my ‘experimenting with very complex block patterns’ work. Some of which, as you may be able to see (as in the bottom row, fourth along Dutchman’s Puzzle block) have lost a lot of their points which is a pity.

Liberty blocks so far

I didn’t think that they would all work together and was concerned that some might be a little small but apart from one of the older ones that I think needs a wider border (top right block in particular)  I am happy with the way that they look. Mind you I am still tempted to do an all Liberty log cabin one but we shall see 🙂

This week’s blocks were the Shoefly ones, I am a little behind now as I only had time on Sunday afternoon to make these due to a lovely weekend of walking and doing other things and we are now onto another block for this week. I used the tutorial from Polka Dot Chair for these.

Shoefly Block 1

They are very similar in construction to the nine patch block that I made last week, just using half square triangles instead of full patches. I think I have got the half square triangle construction sorted now, I still end up with some parts with more space at the edge than others but I think that is due to differences in seam allowances.

Shoefly Block 2

I have been adding to my sewing tools stash recently, I have bought a new, slimmer, quilting ruler which has been great as I now have a 12 inch by 1 and 1/2 inch which is much easier for quick cutting than the 18 inch by 4 inch one. I also bought a roleau loop turner.

I am thinking that one of the specialist feet 1/4 inch feet might be a good idea or maybe I could just trial the good old DIY version of putting tape next to my sewing machine foot.

On my wish list as well are a pressing ham and a tailor’s clapper. I really love all the handmade versions of the hams and sleeve rolls I have seen as most of the commercial ones just won’t go with my sewing room and everything has to co-ordinate of course 🙂

This tutorial looks very good for making one and I love the way that she has decorated it with hand drawn illustrations. Picture from the web site as marked.

tailors ham

I just need to try and get some sawdust as that is the best thing to stuff it with. No doubt I can find it on Ebay which has been a lifesaver during lockdown.

I have not got much planned for the rest of this week craft wise as I am knee deep in marking and going to bed quite early most nights, I am so tired at the moment, must have been that very long walk on Friday! I am also enjoying watching some beautiful sunsets with a good book to read, I find it a very calming end to the day.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead, I have a catch up with Ellen planned for tomorrow and she is going to show me some of the amazing flower fairy dress she has been working on so I will get some pictures of that for you, the glimpses I have seen look brilliant. She is so creative.

I am now off to drink wine and work on my latest jigsaw puzzle as I have staring at a screen all day. I know it is a school night (for the wine) but since I am not going in to work again for at least the next four months normal rules just don’t apply 🙂

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.